Chuck Peña got his hands on some Absolute Black Oval rings to give them a good going over, inspired by Chris Froome's wins at the Tour and Vuelta using oval chainrings. But with mixed views on their functionality, we asked what are they like to ride? Here are his findings.
Over the past decade, non-round chainrings have made big inroads in the pro peloton and in the mass cycling market, led by Rotor and O-symetric. Given the complex muscular coordination required by pedaling, the theory of non-round chainrings of facilitating a smoother pedaling stroke can make sense, but what does scientific testing tell us about their performance?
After a few years of gaining a gradual foothold in the pro peloton, non-round chainrings have gone big-time, first as unbranded chainrings for Carlos Sastre’s 2008 Tour win, and now as a major sponsor for the Cervelo TestTeam. True to its Spanish roots, a new study from a Spanish research group investigates their efficacy.